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Wisconsin 11, Christine O'donnell 9, Us 9, America 7, Doma 6, David Koch 5, Obama 5, Glenn Beck 4, Walker 4, Keith Ellison 4, Sarah Palin 4, Scott Walker 4, Washington 4, Buffalo 4, Indiana 4, John Boehner 3, Ian Murphy 3, Ohio 3, Crowley 3, U.s. 3,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage,  
   breaking news and current news events. New.  

    February 23, 2011
    8:00 - 9:00pm EST  

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shrinking the budget deficit? politicians are trying to carry support on the fringe, and going to the fringe for their own solutions. if you can follow beck's reason, if you truly listen to this guy, why would any sane person say we should take his counsel regarding matters of the real world. listening to bachmann and beck, you would get the idea that the american right, at least their corner of it, jumped head first into the twilight zone. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the last word with lawrence o'donnell" starts right now. the republican governor of wisconsin rushes into a trap set by a guy in buffalo posing as -- well, let's see, someone the republican governor really couldn't resist talking to. that's right. a wicked rich republican. >> but this guy wants it all from the little guy. >> wisconsin governor scott walker is refusing to back down.
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>> the governor of wisconsin still refuses to back down, but now he's having to explain a phone call. >> i take phone calls all the time. >> scott, david koch. >> the call has been verified. >> you're not talking to any of these democrats, are you? >> he talks about his plans to squeeze workers and to squeeze democratic lawmakers. >> might ratchet it up a little. >> it was actually a frank pulled by a website the buffalo beast. >> screws have been tightened a little today. >> what are you going to do? >> yes! those free loaders with their cushy state jobs like snowplow operators, prison guards, and teachers. >> and he calls another press conference. >> i'm not going to allow one prank phone call to be a distraction for the reaelts, we have a job to do. >> if you look at the impact
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president reagan had, he talked about doing the right thing for the right reason at the right time. >> and it is not about budget deficits. >> the state budget battles that began a few years ago in california are moving east, and it is catching on everywhere. >> pro-union protests in ohio, michigan, and as we just saw, indiana. >> the president stays silent on union protests and focuses on jobs, protests overseas, and the right to marry. >> north and south, east and west, voices are being raised together to oppose suppression. >> according to attorney general eric holder, president obama has concluded he can no longer defend a federal law defining marriage as only between a man and woman. >> the justice department says it has concluded that that provision of the law, declining to recognize marriages in states where they're permitted, is
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unconstitutional. >> even you're evolving. >> you're not going to change his mind. good evening. governor scott walker has insisted day after day that his budget repair bill is about saving money and not about union busting. but in a phone conversation with a man he believed to be billionaire david koch, walker let down his guard and said it. >> this is about public-sector unions. you essentially are having taxpayers money being used to pay to lobby for spending more of taxpayers money. it is absolutely ridiculous. it is not just what walker said about unions that has excited the governor's critics, it is his staff's desperate eagerness to put a man he said was koch on with their boss, without feeling any need to check if it actually was mr. koch.
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that seems to put another check mark in the column of bought and paid for by koch industries. koch industries was the second largest contributor to walker's gubernatorial campaign, giving 43,000, the maximum allowed. the koch backed americans for prosperity funded last week's counter-protests, and its president told "the new york times" that americans for prosperity was working to encourage a union show down, even before walker was inaugurated. and americans for prosperity launched the stand with walker website which encourages every state, every state, to adopt walker's so-called common sensory forms on unions. tonight another state is on the list, an oekds house committee tonight approved repeal of collective bargaining for state workers. but back to the phone call. mr. murphy's questions began when he wondered if anyone could get governor walker to take a
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call, after reading that some of the democratic state senators couldn't get a call returned, so he worked on a voice, worked up a story, and called the office. >> hi, this is scott walker. >> scott. david koch. how are you. >> i am good, yourself? >> i am very will. i am a little disheartened by the situation there, but what's the latest? >> we're actually hanging pretty tough. >> the two exchanged niceties about governor walker's strategies, about getting the 14 to return to the state to vote. walker stresses he will not budge, will not negotiate. and when asked if this movement is spreading, he can't help but pat himself on the back. >> i had the governor of nevada called me, he was in the lincoln day sirk et, and he was kidding me, he said scott, don't come to
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nevada, i would be afraid you'd beat me running for governor. that's all they want to talk about, what are you doing to help the governor from wisconsin. i talked to kasich. john has to stand firm in ohio, rick scott in florida, i think snyder, if he got a little more support, probably could do that in michigan. there's a lot of new governors got elected to do something big. >> you're the first domino. >> yep. this is our moment. >> joining me, ian murphy from the buffalo beast.com, and the most important phone caller of the day. ian, walk me through this. you call the office. why didn't they say to you we'll take a number and we will call you back. that's the standard procedure when an office like this receives a call from someone that might be important, but in order to find out that's who it
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really is, they have to call back. >> right. well, the second call i did make -- the chief of staff asked for my number so they could call me back. but seeing as i was using skype, that was impossible. so i made up a story on the spot about my maid maria that recognized my phone. amazingly, he said sure, that sounds totally believable. he gave me the time to call back, and i called back later, got right to the governor. >> and the governor seemed comfortable and eager to talk to you. were you surprised that it went as smoothly as it did? when you're on the phone, did you think he is going to in the next sentence, he is going to catch me? i'm not going to be able to keep pulling this off?
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>> no. just getting on the line with him was a feat and i think he's just oblivious, generally, didn't surprise me. >> as the call got going, you were confident that this thing was going to work. there was just about nothing you could say that would tip it? >> basically, yeah. >> and you drew him in to criticizing this network. he had some harsh things to say about msnbc. >> yeah. well, not joe scarborough. he's one of us. >> he was on morning joe, said he thought he was treated fairly on morning joe. you also pulled him along in directions about, you know, what this fight is about. when you came out of this conversation, why do you think
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now after this conversation, why do you think this governor is not going along with the agreement that exists thus far, the union is willing to make all the financial concessions he's asking for. why do you think he's hanging in there, holding on to the provisions that would in effect destroy the union's ability to negotiate? >> profit for himself and his people he associates with. >> do you get the feeling that he's ready if this goes the way he wants it to, if he wins this, did you come out of it with the feeling that he should run for president, if he pulls this off and wins it all the way, he should immediately set off and seize the republican inauguration for president? >> oh, yeah, he should. go for it. >> did you feel the reagan comparison he was giving for himself was the way he now sees
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himself? >> yeah. i felt that comparison deep down. it really rang true, especially considering reagan was just pretty much out of his mind. >> ian murphy, my phone answerers have been warned, they will not be taking calls from any buffalo numbers without calling back, checking who it really is. ian murphy, editor and chief of buffalobeast.com. >> thank you. joining me, professor. you hear in the phone call i am talking to john kasich every day. this is what we've been suggesting here, that it feels like this is a national republican governor's movement. this is not just one state trying to get control of its budget. it seems that that phone call
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shows us that the hope is that this governor will be able to spread something nationwide? >> this is absolutely coordinated. no doubt about it, and it is not an accident that one republican governor after another is trying to crush the unions, crush workers in general. what's astounding is we have the greatest inequality in income and wealth in the history of this country, and you have the billionaires going out to absolutely do the final deed of crushing workers to the maximum extent. it is amazing what's going on. >> george will's column has the smoking gun on this, even before the phone call, george loves what the governor is doing and the governor says to him he is hoping if his bill succeeds that eventually union members will look at them and say why do we need this. >> the reason they need it is the wages have been going down, while the income at the top has been soaring. what these billionaires have been doing is buying up the
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whole congress, now buying up the governors to make sure they never have to pay taxes again. then we have these huge budget deficits because they don't pay taxes any more. and what do they want to do? cut benefits for the poor, cut education, stipends, cut pay of teachers. it is unbelievable the game going on in this country. a little of it was exposed today, but this is absolutely vile, given what happens. we have workers down, and they are doing everything they can to put in that final twist. >> why would the kochs care about a little union question in a state like wisconsin? >> well, they have business in wisconsin. they have polluting industries all over this country. they have bought up all the congress on the energy committees in the house and the senate on the republican side to make sure that we never do anything about the coal
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industry, about oil, about our dependence on imported oil, on climate. they have bought everything they can in politics. they're making sure they never have to pay a tax, never have to do any environmental control. >> would ronald reagan look at what's happening today and say yes, governor walker is the inheritor of my spirit? this is the lesson i was trying to teach by firing air traffic controllers when they went on strike? >> he might. it is true that reagan got a lot of this started of this unbelievable surge of income and wealth and equality. we never lived like we do now with the middle class disappearing in this country, and the rich in a contagion greed trying to crush the bottom. i think reagan did get that started. people reveered him, to this day in this country, but the fact of the matter is when you look at how the middle class started this decline in america, it was
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in the 1980s when the tax cuts on the top were given. the budget deficits opened up. they started to squeeze education and social spending, and were breaking the country in two. that's what's happening. >> now, a lot of discussion that i listened to over the last year about public education in this country, there seems to be a rather relentless conscious and sometimes subconscious attack on teachers unions. teachers are the problems. the scores aren't going up because of the teachers. it seems like they've isolated the teachers as the reason why the schools are the way they are. it seems to me that we've got some kind of political spillover from that dialogue into anti-union talk we hear now. >> well, that dialogue itself is a gimmick. it's trying to find a cheap way to take a social crisis that we have in this country and find someone to blame. you have poor kids that can't make it right now, and so blame
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the teachers, not blame the poverty, not blame the neighborhoods, not blame the inability of mothers to provide decent daycare for their children, get decent preschool. so this is part of the same story actually which is we're crushing the middle class in the country, and then the rich who want to pay no taxes are doing everything they can to blame the poor. and it's out of control. it's spiraling out of control. and where is president obama, frankly, when we need him to be defending the basic values of this country. we need to hear his voice. >> we are going to be talking about president obama's role in the next segment. jeffrey sachs from columbia university, thanks for joining us tonight. >> thank you. the congressional caucus is standing by. congressman keith ellison joins us next. and a big reversal from president obama. the president decided the
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defense of marriage act is unconstitutional and asked the justice department to stop defending the constitutionality of the law. [ male announcer ] colorful, original and now #1 in the u.s. that's outlast lipstain from covergirl. light as air lipwear that does what a lipstick can't. the precision pen glides over lips with a flush of sheer color. it's never sticky. 'cause it's a stain. read my lips, this is not a lipstick. with one sold every 15 seconds, it's the #1 selling lipstain in the u.s.
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continues, the coningal progressive caucus finally joins the fight. congressman keith ellison joins us next. and later, third time is the charm for christine o'donnell. three failed bids for the senate and finally gets noticed by "dancing with the stars." [ male announcer ] this is charlie whose morning flight
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it is day nine of the wisconsin protests, and the statehouse is still surrounded by tens of thousands of protesters, while in washington, d.c. hundreds rallied in solidarity. today, wisconsin governor scott walker reiterated his threat that if his budget bill is not passed by week's end, he will begin the process of firing 1500 state workers. >> for us, the alternative is if we do not see this bill passed, we've already mentioned that for this year alone for fiscal 2011 that ends june 30th, the total number of jobs that we equated would be the equivalent of the $30 million we save by starting our wage and benefit reforms as of april 1st, is the equivalent of 1500 jobs. >> indiana's republican governor mitch daniels said he would not send state police after the 38 house democrats that left his state for democrat friendly
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illinois. those democrats and the others are protesting a bill that would allow public and private sector workers to opt out of membership and dues requirements. earlier today, indiana republican senators dropped that bill and replaced it with one that would establish a committee to study the provision's effects. in ohio, fleeing wasn't an option. republicans have a quorum, even without democrats being in attendance. 5,000 protesters chantd outside td columbus, ohio statehouse. instead, they held hearings on a republican bill to prohibit all collective bargaining for state workers. the ohio senate president said today they will rewrite that bill to allow state worker unions to negotiate wages only. joining me now, congressional progressive caucus co-chair, democratic congressman keith ellison.
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thank you very much for joining us, congressman. >> good to be here, lawrence. thank you for having this on and for reporting this story. >> what can you in washington do in what seems like a statehouse movement? >> well, what the progressive caucus has done is made clear it stands with the people who are fighting for collective bargaining rights in wisconsin. we are very, very proud of our progressive caucus members, gwen moore and tammy baldwin whose district, tremendous struggle is taking place, and we're going to be putting our heads together to do everything possible we can to support the right to collective bargaining because the fact is this is an essentially right. workers rights or human rights in our view. the fact is, if we lose here, collective bargaining rights all over the country are going to be in jeopardy, and i can certainly say that the downward trail, the
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downward trajectory of wages for workers across this country over the last 30 years has walked step in step with the declining union membership, which is done with union busting measures all throughout this period of time, and none more serious than the one that reagan did. but this one, of course, is of historic proportions as well. and we have to hold fast. >> when you hear the governor of wisconsin on that phone call today, the taped phone call talking about his consultations with other governors, including john kasich in ohio and others involved in these questions, it's very clear that this is a national campaign directed from -- >> there's no doubt about it. our strategy to defend workers rights, to defend dignity on the job site have to be national in scope, because even though this is being played out in statehouses, the fact is they have a national agenda and a
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historic agenda. they are trying to reset the way that workers and employers interact with each other. as you heard him say in that call when he was bragging to who he thought was david koch that he was in a certain moment, and so it's very clear that they understand the gravity of this moment, and working people all over this country better get it, too. and i would say that there's very few middle class americans today who do not owe part of their prosperity to the union movement. in fact, it was the union movement that helped bring the working class into the middle class. this is everybody's business, everybody's fight. and i am so proud of union members that are in the uniformed services like police and fire and others who are standing in solidarity with other public employees because they understand how important this struggle is for them as well. >> congressman ellison, would you like to see more from president obama? i mean, i believe that his silence is all about
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presidential politics. he needs to win wisconsin in two years. he won it once before. he has seen republicans come in and win that state since he won it, and it seems to me he's just waiting to see which way the wind blows in wisconsin. he doesn't want -- if a majority of wisconsin is on the governor's side, he doesn't want to be on the opposite side of them. >> i will say that president obama has made statements in support of the workers, and when he did, you saw a lot of people in the media criticize him and say he should keep out of it. the fact is that he has made some statements. we should be grateful for that. but of course, i would like to hear more from president obama. he's made some statements. he should get credit for that. we would like to hear more statements. i think president obama should come to wisconsin and stand with the workers. i tell you, the fact is it is working people that are going to be pounding for him in a few years. working people elected him to
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pursue, and i think it is only sensible he would stand on the side of labor at this time. but again, i want to be fair to the president. he has made statements, but more statements would be very welcome. >> now that it's down to -- in wisconsin -- the very simple issue of will the unions be able to have real collective bargaining discussions, that's all we're down to. the financials of this have been surrendered already. so any point the president might want to make about deficit reduction and any parallels he might be afraid of in terms of the situation in washington are no longer present. there is no situation in washington that's comparable to this. this is about nothing but collective bargaining rights of unions. are we at a point where a democratic president can't find his voice to defend that? >> well, let me just tell you, he has spoken out, and i want to encourage him and welcome more comments from him. you're right, absolutely, lawrence. we are down to the nitty-gritty. this is all about collective
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bargaining rights, and the people are not going to lose face, no matter who stands with them. we want them to know the progressive caucus stands with them, and ohio and indiana and all over america. and yes, we want to hear more from the president, but i don't want to be the one saying the president hasn't done anything because to be fair, he has said statements in support. but of course, more statements would be welcome. and i think it would be the right thing to speak up for collective bargaining rights, but it would also be politically astut. walker's poll numbers are declining, his negatives are going way up. this is clearly an overreach. after today when he thought he was talking to david koch, he was revealed to have a very political strategy that had nothing to do with dealing with budget repair in wisconsin, but everything to do with breaking the back of working people. and if you can't have a say so in the job site, you're in trouble. stand up, stay strong, and thank you very much for having me on.
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>> progressive caucus co-chair, keith ellison. thank you very much for joining me tonight. >> you bet. president obama has decided the defense of marriage act is unconstitutional, wants the justice department to stop defending the constitutionality of the 15-year-old law. that move led monica crowley of this network to call the president mubarak obama. that's in tonight's "rewrite."
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ahead this hour, why is president obama choosing now to reopen the debate about gay marriage? the president asked the department of justice to stop defending the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act. glen greenwald reacts. and later, the public spec at that can he of christine o'donnell. she says she might be on "dancing with the stars." [ male announcer ] one look can turn the everyday into romantic.
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do we still get to go skiing? sooner or later, you'll know our name. sun life financial. that the defense of marriage act known as doma is unconstitutional. doma defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. it passed in 1996 with the support of such liberal senators as joe biden, harry reid, barbara mccan you ski, pat lay hee, jay rock feller, and paul
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well stone. today, attorney general eric holder sent a letter to speaker john boehner informing him that the administration will no longer defend doma in appeals courts because, quote, much of the legal landscape has changed in the 15 years since congress passed the law. holder said obama concluded that doma fails to meet a rigorous standard under which courts view with suspicion any laws targeting minority groups who have suffered a history of discrimination. john boehner's press secretary replied while americans want washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the president will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation. doma will remain in effect and the administration will continue to enforce the law until a federal court abolishes it, or congress repeals it. white house press secretary jay
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carney said today the president is still, quote, grappling with the issue of gay marriage. in december, president obama said that he supported civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, but that his position on gay marriage was, quote, constantly evolving, because i am a politician. okay, he didn't say the because i am a politician part. joining me now, glen green walled, contributing writer to salon.com. glen, that's really what it is with this president, isn't it? you're watching a politician grapple with an issue, not a constitutional law professor or a man. >> i think in general, you're right, in general that's true. but this is actually a case where that may not be that true, and i say this as a fairly frequent critic of the obama administration, but this seems to be a case where what they did does deserve enthusistic praise.
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they could say this is done to -- gay groups have been fairly placated by repeal of don't ask, don't tell. this was not high on the list for gay groups. on the other side, you have those that are triggered by gay marriage. only a few years ago, dozens of states made bans on gay marriage part of their constitution. this is a case where there's a fair amount of political risk, very little political benefit. so they really took on the merits and took a step to removing the injustice that plagues the lives of many americans. >> they said they are going to enforce it but not -- >> that's an important distinction. we should be glad that distinction is made by the administration. they are saying there are lawsuits currently pending where the constitutionality of the law
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is being challenged. generally it is up to the justice department to defend the constitutionality of any statute congress passes, and previous administrations have done this, unless they believe it is so unconstitutional that they can't in good faith defend the constitutionality. and that's what the administration is saying. but until congress appeals it or a court strikes it down with finality, it is the law of the land, and the president is therefore bound by the constitution to continue to enforce it, even though he believes it is unconstitutional. that's the controversy of the bush administration. they would say we think this is all unconstitutional, therefore we won't follow it. and you don't want presidents doing that. >> there is precedence at the administration level to decide we no longer feel we can defend the constitutionality of a given law. >> absolutely. clinton administration refused to defend the constitutionality of a law that said people that have hiv can't serve in the
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military. the independence council statute congress passed they said was unconstitutional. many administrations going back to roosevelt and before said we are obligated to enforce it but we don't think it can be defended in good faith. >> what do you make of john boehner's reaction. it sounds mooted. he didn't go to the microphone to make a statement. not saying anything terribly inflammatory. >> i think the right wing of the republican party, establishment part of it, had made the decision that the reason they won the last election was because of issues concerning the economy and spending and that social issues don't play well with independent voters and you have seen them move away from it. the problem is they rely on voters that care about these issues and you will see more inflammatory rhetoric coming over this issue. that's why i think there's political risk involved. >> i mention some of the liberal democratic senators that voted
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for the defense of marriage bill back 15 years ago to show that there is, in fact, a real evolution on this subject. that there are people that changed their minds over time about it, and that there are plenty of people in the past 15 years that moved in the direction of gay marriage. and do you think we are going to get to the point where you can actually be the president -- none of the people running for president in 2008 who were serious contenders for the democratic inauguration could come out and say i'm in favor of gay marriage. how far are we from that? >> it is amazing when i litigated cases in the early part of the decade, i was involved in a case where i took the position that the defense of marriage act was unconstitutional, gay people should be treated like women and african-americans and back then almost nobody was arguing that, it was a radical position. now a mere nine years later you have the justice department
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officially taking that on all issues involving gay americans. the fact the president says he is grappling with the issue of gay marriage is a signal he may come out, change his mind, say that he now favors it. polls show a divided country on the most extreme question which is should the government recognize same sex marriages. there's a real belief it is unjust to deny gay people and gay couples the rights of straight couples. that's what doma is about. >> where do you think we go from here, if the justice department makes this decision today, where are we two or three years from now on this? >> well, i don't think there's much hope congress will repeal it, given who controls congress. even when the democrats did, they showed no interest in doing so, i don't think they are ready to take that risk. the reason it is so momentous is because federal courts when it comes to determining the constitutionality of statutes listen to the justice department, and if the justice department is standing up and saying there is no legitimate basis for this discriminatory
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law, we can't identify any legitimate government interest that has a major role in the courts and where this is headed will end up assessing this issue. >> glen greenwald, thanks for being with us on the big win today. >> my pleasure. since christine no relation o'donnell's loss in the senate race, she created her own political action committee, started writing a book, and is considering an offer from "dancing with the stars." can losing a senate campaign make her almost as rich as sarah palin? that's coming up. and earlier today, monica crowley likened the president's decision on defense of marriage act to that of a dictator, suggesting he should be called mubarak obama. that's in the "rewrite." sam higgins...
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candidates have learned anything from sarah palin, it is how to get rich.
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somewhere in america, a city comes to life. it moves effortlessly, breathes easily. it flows with clean water. it makes its skyline greener and its population healthier. all to become the kind of city people want to live and work in. somewhere in america, we've already answered some of the nation's toughest questions. and the over sixty thousand people of siemens are ready to do it again. siemens. answers. time for tonight's "rewrite." up first, fox news contributor monica crowley. >> i can't let you go without asking about the breaking news we started the show with which is now the administration decided to declare that defense of marriage act was defines marriage as between man and woman, talking president clinton. they declared thats unconstitutional, said they are no longer going to enforce it. >> it is beyond belief, megan.
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we are a nation of laws, not men. we are governed by the rule of law. what the constitution says that the president doesn't get to decide which laws he likes and which he enforces. he is the chief executive. the law is on the books, defense of marriage act. it is his responsibility under the constitution to enforce that law. to me, that is a form of dictatorship. that is mubarak obama. >> mubarak obama. nice. yeah, it would be a bad thing for the president to decide which laws he would enforce, as glenn greenwald just pointed out, and decide which laws he would not enforce, and president obama knows that, which is why this president has specifically said he intends to continue to enforce the defense of marriage act. what has changed today is simply that the obama administration will no longer advance the faulty legal argument that the defense of marriage act is
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constitutional in appeals court challenges to the law. there is no whif of dictator ship in the president's presidency. he was elected with more votes than george w. bush ever got. why else would anyone, anyone on fox news want to combine the names obama and mubarak. maybe because mubarak is muslim. >> the issue doesn't matter. it doesn't matter. sane, clear thinking people understand the president is not a muslim. >> bill o'reilly continues to protest that fox news has nothing to do with the lie that the president is a muslim, while people like monica crowley try to find every way they possibly can to insinuate in everything they say about barack obama that he just might be. fox news silliest employee glenn
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beck decided yesterday he is big enough and strong enough to take on 400 rabbis, specifically the 400 rabbis who asked rupert murdoch to sanction glenn beck for all of his disturbing nazi talk. >> most people who are not jewish don't understand that there are the orthodox rabbis, then there are reformed rabbis. reformed rabbis are generally political in nature. it's almost like islam, radicalized islam in a way to where it is just -- radicalized islam is less about religion than it is about politics. when you look at the reformed judaism, it is more about politics. it is not about terror or anything else. it is about politics. and so it becomes more about
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politics than it does about faith. orthodox rabbis, that is about faith. there's not a single orthodox rabbi on this list. this is all reformed rabbis that made this list. >> so mormon glenn beck says only orthodox rabbis are about faith. we should only listen to orthodox rabbis, and there is not a single orthodox rabbi on that list. the anti-defamation league put out a statement today saying beck's blatant comparison of radical islam to reformed judahism demonstrates his ignorance. it also demonstrates that glenn beck is a liar. he said no orthodox rabbis signed that letter. not a single one. he said later in the broadcast he knew that for a fact. he double underlined it. according to the jewish funds for justice who wrote the letter, it was signed by the heads of the reformed
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christine o'donnell has big news, or maybe she doesn't. she claims she's been invited to compete on "dancing with the stars," writing on her facebook page monday, although i am utterly flattered, my initial thought was to decline, as two-year-old nephew has more rhythm than me and my two left feet. christine o'donnell solicited her facebook followers for their input on whether she should try her luck on "dancing with the stars." she later added thank you for your input, still undecided.
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book comes first. "dancing with the stars" will make the official announcement of who their next contestants are on monday night. christine o'donnell, if she actually has been invited to participate on the show has already violated one of the house rules for contestants, which is that they don't leak their participation before the show makes its official announcements. joining me now, alex wagner, white house correspondent for politics daily. >> thanks for having me. >> i have my doubts. she has credibility with me on this and several other things. i have spoken to a couple of former "dancing with the stars" contestants today. they tell me that you're sworn to secrecy when you get the offer, and if you decide to do it, they're sworn to secrecy, so when they make their big announcement for the show monday night, it will be a big announcement instead of a semi leaked deflated announcement
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like christine o'donnell may or may not have made it. what's going on here? >> look, i think the most surprising thing is that christine o'donnell spent a large portion of 2010 trying to convince the american public that a, she was not a witch, and that b, she was a substantive person. and here we have someone that is authentic. she started a political action committee to weigh in on the healthcare debate and economic debate going on in the country. much of her facebook page, there are pontiff indications on egypt, foreign policy, taxes, trade issues. and then this "dancing with the stars" announcement. i think it is shocking that christine o'donnell seems to be grappling with the issue of whether she should not pursue higher office but whether she should be contestant to win the mirrored trophy ball on "dancing with the stars." >> is it a big risk for "dancing with the stars" to have someone like her? i mean, bristol palin is one
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thing. she was never a candidate, she is not actually a politician. you don't want to ask bristol what the top tax bracket should be. but for a politician, if you're on "dancing with the stars," you got to be worried she will say something about union bashing when she gets her scores. >> or satanic rituals. keep in mind, tom delay was on season nine. apparently there's a vacant seat there because we know where tom is, he is battling a three-year prison sentence for money launderring. it is not knew for them to have right wingers. she's filling shoes that walked on the parquet floor before. >> tom delay convinced all of us and convinced prosecutors that his political career was over, completely over by the time he went on "dancing with the stars." would that be christine o'donnell's in effect
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declaration if she goes on "dancing with the stars"? >> i mean, i don't think so. i think she's more following the sarah palin model, which is to say you can have your reality show, book tour, and your cake and eat it, too. the disconcerting thing is the blurring line between politics and entertainment. in the times we're facing, a lot of americans want people that conduct themselves with a certain amount of decorum if they're seeking higher office. >> speaking of sarah palin, were we, yeah, a little bit. there's this controversy that erupted about maybe she was operating a fake facebook page so she could compliment herself on her other facebook page. is anyone getting to the bottom of that horrible palin scandal? >> well, that alternate facebook account, lou sarah i believe the name was has been taken off line. if you believe the memoirs leaked by one of our former campaign aides, she's obsessed